After months of speculation and silence, the word is out that The Dark Knight Rises will indeed end the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale Batman series on a good note.
The reviews have been uniformly positive, with several publications claiming it’s the best of the three, although there are some naysayers here and there. Nevertheless, even if the reviews were dreadful, it would never stop anybody from seeing the long-awaited film on opening weekend.
The world premiere of Rises was on Monday night, July 16, in New York, and as the Hollywood Reporter tells us, Bale admitted “it’s sad to say goodbye” to the series because as he said before, he’s donned “the cowl” for the last time. And he says he still has the cowl as a memento. (No Chris Nolan pun intended). At the same time, Bale added, “it feels like the right time” to quit.
At the premiere, Tom Hardy also told the Reporter his Hannibal style mask “was hot and tight and a little bit claustrophobic at times. But, you know, it was good fun. Most of the time.”
As far as the naysayer reviews, well so far only Marshall Fine of The HuffPo thought “Nolan gets so caught up in creating an epic adventure that he hammers the ‘epic’ and neglects a crucial component: the adventure… the urge to operate on a grand scale results only in a grandiosity that, ultimately, becomes a bit silly, even nonsensical.” Fine also called the film “pretentious” and “hot air.”
The Wrap also backhandedly opined that Rises “falls short of Bat-legendary,” not that this is a bad thing. “‘Merely great’ feels like the most backhanded of compliments,” Alonso Duralde writes, “but when a filmmakers is coming off a one-two punch of pop masterpieces like The Dark Knight and Inception, expectations get invariably raised for what comes next.” It “comes up short in only one department: the shock of the new.”
Yet, Nolan “doesn’t rewrite the rules: he lives up to his own previous standards without exceeding them… Rises winds up enhancing the Nolan brand but rarely expanding it. Still, simple excellence by Christopher Nolan standards is pretty terrific.”
Maybe we’re all expecting the greatest thing since sliced bread with this, and there’s certainly going to be people that are disappointed no matter how great the movie turns out. Still, it’s good to know the last one in the series won’t be an ugly duckling. “Pretty terrific” is alright with me, and I’m sure it will be for millions of others as well.
In fact, right as this story was being finalized, a report hit the L.A. Times that (duh) tracking for Dark Knight is indeed enormous, and as Ben Fritz and Am Kaufman report, “Pre-release research shows director Christopher Nolan’s final Batman movie is exceeding mega-hits The Avengers, The Hunger Games and the critical ‘first choice category that studios use to gauge moviegoers’ interest in their upcoming releases.”
First weekend projected gross? $180 million, or so the data says, and there is even a possibility it could beat The Avengers opening weekend take of $207 million.